Maharashtra belongs to Marathis, Bihar belongs to Biharis, Gujrat belongs to Gujratis and so on… but Delhi belongs to who? As the old timers say, Dilli dilwalon ki hai (Delhi belongs to people with big hearts), I too think it belongs everyone… Delhi welcomed everyone, gave food and shelter to all – without thinking which state or community we are part of. Like the man in the picture, Raju, an immigrant from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Possibly living in one of the most expensive houses to own in India. For a mere few hundred bucks a month! You know why? I think, because we have forgotten the value and our own heritage. Because, no one owns Delhi.
The building behind this man was once upon a time the last mughal emperor Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar”s son-in-law’s residence. This place is over a hundred years old, several families live here and no one to take care of the building. The facade that you see behind Raju is over a hundred year old piece of art. The narrow lane once may be an important lane in the history, is now a residence to daily wage earners. The buildings around this place are being modernized, air conditioners, modern doors and windows, bikes etc. everything is changing. A piece of heritage and traces of history are vanishing at a very high speed. But no one is bothered. People are telling us, pray to the god to stop the rain. People are telling us, upgrading the stadium is important. We are happy that we’ll get got tea in Qutub Minar. But do we even know how many heritage sites are being destroyed everyday in Delhi?
There is much more to Delhi than Red Fort and Qutub Minar. Let’s not just let it go because no one told us it’s not important.